Monday, August 31, 2009

Crispy Chicken Tenders

Brody LOVES this recipe. You could always make more tenders than you need, freeze them in a freezer bag and pop them in the oven when you need a quick lunch or dinner (or if your child decides not to eat what you have made for dinner :)

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into strips, washed off with water, then pat excess moisture off (leave some water on the chicken so it is easier to roll in the chips)
Crushed Plain Potato Chips (I used Lay's Wavy Original)
*You could also use corn flakes for a different taste
Fresh ground pepper (optional)
Parsley (optional)

Mix all ingredients except for the chicken. Roll chicken strips in dry mixture. If chicken is too dry for the mixture to stick to it, dip the strips in water before rolling in potato chip mixture.

Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I used my pampered chef stone, so I didn't need to grease) for 16 minutes (or until crispy) at 450 degrees.

I served the kids crispy chicken strips, frozen green peas and applesauce. Easy and good!

Recipe from Sophie-Safe Cooking
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Healthy Times Maple Arrowroot Cookies

I have to tell you how much I love Healthy Times! They sell Premium Organic Baby Food and Baby Care. I am so thankful that they have some safe toddler products for Brody. Right now, Brody is LOVING the Maple Arrowroot Cookies (they are Soy free, Wheat free and Dairy free)! It is so nice to have a yummy cookie that he can eat that is age appropriate. These cookies are great because he can hold them well because of their shape and once in his mouth, they dissolve/break apart quickly so I don't worry about choking. Brock (my non-allergic child) likes them there you go!

Premium Organic Arrowroot Cookies are made with a unique blend of organic ingredients for growing toddlers. They are a good source of calcium, iron and zinc for healthy growth and development. The smooth texture, special shape and delicious taste make Healthy Times Premium Organic Arrowroot Cookies the perfect snack for your child's first cookie.

Organic Whole Oat Flour, Organic Whole Grain Barley Four, Organic Cold Pressed Safflower Oil and/or Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Evaporated Unrefined Cane Juice, Organic Unsulphured Molasses, Organic Arrow-root Flour, Natural Flavors, Aluminum Free Baking Soda, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)Vitamins And Minerals:Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A (Palmitate), Niacin (B3), Electrolytic Iron, Zinc, Riboflavin (B2)
You can order online at
13200 Kirkham Way, No. 104
Poway, CA 92064
Tel: (877) 548-2229
Fax (858) 513-1533

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Tacos are a safe, go-to dinner for us. We love them!

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

2 lbs Ground beef
1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin
1 medium onion, chopped (save 1/2 for toppings)
2 garlic cloves, pressed (2 exta cloves if you want to put some in your refried beans)

1 can refried beans (We put 2 garlic cloves, pressed and a dash of hot sauce/Tabasco in the refried beans when we heat them up)
lettuce, shredded
tomatoes, chopped
onions, chopped (left over from what you chopped to put in meat mixture)
salsa (during the summer, we love to use homemade salsa from the garden)
jalapenos chopped
cilantro (if you have on hand)
*cheese/sour cream if you are not allergic to dairy

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), twice around the pan. Add the chopped onions, pressed garlic and beef to skillet. Brown meat. Season meat with the cumin and chili power. Cook for 5 minutes more, then add about a cup of water and reduce the heat to low. Make sure the majority of water has cooked off before you serve.

Heat taco shells according to package directions. Prepare toppings. Fill tacos and Enjoy.

*Serve with tortilla chips (we love Santitas Tortillas Chips...they are always "on sale" for $2) to scoop up the leftovers that have fallen on the plate or eat with the extra refried beans

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Kraft Italian Dressing...Safe indeed

When we were looking for products that were "safe" at the beginning of this allergy journey, I was surprised to find that Kraft Italian Dressing was safe (it does contain soy). I was excited, because we use it as salad dressing, as a marinade and also in pasta salad, etc. Not to mention, it is always going on sale and there are coupons out there so I am able to purchase it for pennies. Also, another one of my favs that is safe is Kraft Creamy Italian (also contains soy) Makes my heart happy! Isn't it the little things?

I called Kraft and asked about the vinegar in the Zesty Italian Dressing (if it contained wheat) and they said if there is even a possibility of cross contamination that it would be listed in under the ingredients (ex: wheat, milk, eggs). This is good to know.

Any Questions? Contact Kraft

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going Above and Beyond

Today, I attended a mom's bible study group at a friend's house. The hostess and one of the ladies that attended went out of their way to accommodate my special dietary restrictions. Drinks and food items were prepared separately for me without dairy products, etc. and Safe Rice Krispy Treats were made with me in mind.

Not to mention, the lady who made the Rice Krispy treats, took her two little ones in tow and drove out of the way to Whole Foods before the bible study and bought vegan butter to make the dessert. In my opinion, she went above and beyond. I was overwhelmed by the kindness that someone whom I had never met, showed me. I certainly do not expect people to accommodate me, but this was such a nice treat. Such a simple act, made me feel included and cared for. It is amazing how an act of kindness can impact one's day.

It brought to mind times in the past where I listened to someone talking about food allergies and thought, wow...that must stink. It's interesting how having a child with food allergies makes you look at situations differently, more thought through. I am more aware now and sensitive to food allergies, and for this, I am thankful. If I could go back, I would do some things differently, as a hostess and as a teacher. I don't know exactly why God has me traveling down this road, but I know I have been forever changed.

I hope that I can make someone else feel the way that I did today...I can't wait to pay it forward.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish


1/4 cup safe butter

1 pkg. (10 1/2 oz.) miniature marshmallows

1 pkg. (12 oz.) Rice Krispie Cereal (I am going to be finding a substitute that does not have High Fructose Corn Syrup)


MICROWAVE butter in large microwaveable bowl on High for 45 sec. or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1 1/2 min or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 sec.

ADD cereal; mix well. Press firmly into greased foil-lined 13x9 inch pan. Cool.

CUT into 24 squares to serve. Wrap leftovers squares tightly. Store in a cool dry place.

Makes 24 servings, one square each

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Please...Call it What it is

I now consider myself to be a good label reader. Before Brody was diagnosed with allergies, I always looked at the label to make sure the product I was purchasing did not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG or Dyes (example: Red #40, Yellow #5, etc.)

Now, I am looking at labels for the items mentioned above, plus milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat. I have found out since starting this new journey with food allergies, that not all food labels call these allergen by their "normal" name. The manufacturer lists some "AKA" names on the label, which makes the process somewhat of a hide and seek for the allergen game.

Here's a sampling of the unusual names and food sources for these allergens.

Allergen: Egg
Alternate Names: Albumin, lysozyme, globulin, ovumucin, vitellin, Simplesse™ (found in low-fat foods)
Food Sources: Egg substitutes, mayonnaise

Allergen: Milk
Alternate Names: Calcium, whey, lactose, casein
Food Sources: Cream, high-protein powder, sour cream, cottage cheese, cakes, puddings, hot chocolate, cheese, yogurt

Allergen: Fish or shellfish
Alternate Names: Agar, carrageenan
Food Sources: Worcestershire sauce, Caesar salad, dressing, cod liver oil

Allergen: Soy
Alternate Names: Guar gum, vegetable protein, lecithin, carob, starch, emulsifiers, flavorings, stabilizers
Food Sources: Vegetable broth or oil, tofu, soy sauce, tempeh, shortening, edamame, chorizo

Allergen: Wheat
Alternate Names: Gluten, semolina, modified food starch, MSG, vegetable gum
Food Sources: All-purpose flour, bleached flour, bran, American cheese, canned soup

Allergen: Peanuts
Alternate Names: Natural and artificial flavoring (read labels carefully to identify what kinds of artificial flavors might be in a food product)
Food Sources: Ice cream, chocolate, gravy, marzipan, egg rolls, candy, cookies

Allergen: Tree nuts
Alternate Names: Cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts (also called filberts), pine nuts, pistachios, macadamias, natural and artificial flavoring (read labels carefully to identify what kinds of artificial flavors might be in a food product)
Food Sources: Barbecue sauce, crackers, ice cream, foods with peanuts (may be cross-contaminated with tree nuts)

Elissa Sonnenberg is an editor at Cincinnati Magazine, in Ohio.

Article from

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

WholeSoy & Co. Organic Soy Frozen Yogurt

Next time you are wanting to try some frozen yogurt that is free of milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat, try WholeSoy & Co. Organic Soy Frozen Yogurt

I had the Swiss Dark Chocolate and it tastes like rich chocolate pudding. If you put regular frozen yogurt (or even ice cream in my opinion) and this product side by side, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I think it is really rich, so I am able to eat a small amount and satisfy my sweet tooth.

Don't forget to call WholeSoy & Co. and request some coupons. So far, I have been impressed their soy yogurt and now their soy frozen yogurt.

WholeSoy & Co.
1-877-JOYOFSOY (569-6376)

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Back to School Preparedness for Your Food-Allergic Child

I went to the FACTS (Food Allergy Community of Tennessee) meeting the other night and it was very informative. Since Brody is only 9 months old, I do not worry too much about dropping him off at the church nursery because they are not giving the children snacks yet. I am sure this will be changing as he moves up to the next class. This meeting got me thinking about what I can do to protect my child and not come across as a crazy parent.

I feel that informing care takers is critical. I am a former teacher, and I thought of times that I gave treats to my students without even thinking about possible allergic reactions. Now granted, I never knowingly had a food-allergic student in my class, but as a teacher you get so busy and sometimes food allergies slip your mind, especially if you are not made aware of them or do not realize that it could be life-threatening. Obviously, having a food-allergic child makes you cautious and want to share this information with those you are entrusting your child with. Susan Dean did a fabulous job of presenting information on how to train a school, preschool or nursery to care for your food-allergic child.

1. Plan an initial meeting in advance of your child's start date
-possibly meet with the person in charge (example: Nursery director, Preschool director, child's teacher, etc. to make them aware of your child's food allergies)
-convey that you are willing to help and build a relationship (let your face be known, but in a positive way)
-have a plan in place

2. What's the PLAN?
-Do you agree with it? Do you think there are any holes in it?
-Are food-allergic children put together in the same class? Will there be another food allergic child in your child's class (this can sometimes be easier since the teacher will have a few children to think about that have food allergies)
-What do you as a parent need to provide (medicine (EpiPen, Benedryl), contact info in case of an emergency, etc.)

If there is NOT a Plan
-help to initiate a plan and figure out what goes in the booklet
-FAAN-print out form with picture on it (Food Allergy Action Plan)
-What goes in binder? Where is the binder stored?
-Where do they keep medicine? How many EpiPens are in the school and who has them?
-What about the Cafeteria? Is there a peanut free table?
-What about snacks in the classroom? (example: no nut products allowed in the room?)
-Plan for substitute-information put in folder about food allergic children on bright colored paper (makes it stick out) Would the school nurse be willing to speak to the substitute teacher in the morning if the classroom teacher is out?
-Field Trips-try to go with your child. Also, ask the place where the field trip is being held if they will be serving food/snacks (take initiative as the parent or possibly the school nurse or classroom teacher would volunteer to do it)
-How are classroom parties handled?
-If there is an emergency, who takes care of it? What is the emergency plan?
-Who tells the other students about the child's food-allergies (example: school nurse, classroom teacher, etc.) Food Allergy Elementary Presentation
-How do you handle children being teased?
-Make sure the caregiver understands that it is ALWAYS alright to administer the EpiPen if they are unsure and if it is administered, you WANT your child taken to the hospital.

3. Provide your child's information and medicine in accordance with the school's plan
-Medical contact form/action plan/EpiPens/Benedryl
-have a Zip-Lock bag with Benedryl, EpiPen, copy of how to use EpiPen (possibly insurance card) or anything else you feel is important for your child in case of an emergency
-Think about having a laminated information card with child's picture, food-allergies, how to spot allergic reactions, emergency information (exactly what to say when 911 is called (example: a script with the pertinent information you want conveyed to emergency first responders), directions on how to get to where the child is at that time, something the caregiver can read...when someone is distraught he can tend to forget simple things and time is important), copy of insurance card
-Give laminated card to all caretakers (even elective teaches/cafeteria director, etc.)

4. Offer to help with teacher in-service or nursery worker training
-Check FAAN for products to help with training (example: EpiPen Trainer and DVD Set)
-Put together a slide show to show teachers/school workers of food-allergic children in the school with their food-allergies so everyone works as a team and is aware of these students (what an amazing idea....when I was teaching, I would have been on board for this!)
-bring FAAN pencils or even some "safe" food for the teachers

5. Meet with your child's individual teacher
-emphasize the "main" food-allergy your child has and what could happen
-discussion of snacks that will be allowed in the classroom
-offer to look at all of the labels of snacks/food that will be in the classroom
-have a box of snacks ready for your child just in case something arises and your child will not be able to eat what the rest of the class is having (so he doesn't feel left out)
-volunteer to be the party mom or work with other mom's who are planning the food, etc.
-what information will be left about food-allergic children for the substitute (action plan for substitute)
-Teacher CheckList (I would have found this helpful when I was teaching)

6. Meet with the cafeteria director or head of kitchen
-possibly give him/her an EpiPen to have in the cafeteria "just in case"
-build a relationship with this person, he/she will be serving the food and know what's going on in the cafeteria

7. Stay in touch
-be seen (in a positive, helpful way)
-e-mail the classroom teacher before a field trip if you are not able to attend to give a friendly reminder (example: please make sure that he has his EpiPen with him)

8. THANK the people taking care of your child
-notes or small gifts (personal touches)
-make them feel appreciated (this goes along with building a relationship)

AMAZING information! This lays everything out for me to think about when leaving Brody in the nursery (not all points apply right now), but it also gives me ideas for later on down the road when he starts school. Also, I know that a teacher would find this information important (if presented in a positive way) since it is important to make sure that every child has a safe learning environment and these days, it seems that this includes food-allergies.

Back to School Preparedness for Your Food-Allergic ChildSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WholeSoy & Co. Yogurt

I was in Kroger the other day and they had WholeSoy & Co. peach Soy Yogurt marked down from $1.29 to .59. I read the ingredients over a few times to make sure that it would be safe for Brody. I guess I was still a little hesitant because the last time we tried yogurt (it was whole milk though) he immediately broke out in hives. I figured I would give the soy yogurt a try, since he does not seem to be allergic to soy products at this time Brody liked it and did not react, so I am happy to have found another safe alternative. I called WholeSoy and Co. and requested coupons. They are on their way!
*Frugal tip-be sure to check out your grocery store for manager specials. Sometimes products are marked down because they are getting ready to expire (I have noticed more products in organics/speciality because they are pricier) or the store has received too many of them. This is a great way to try some allergen free products at 1/2 the price (or even more sometimes). If I had had my coupon from WholeSoy & Company the other day, my yogurt probably would have been free.
WholeSoy & Co.
1-877-JOYOFSOY (569-6376)

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Thank you Garlic Jim's!

Tonight, I had pizza!!!! I LOVE pizza! I ordered my Garlic Jim's Gluten-Free pizza with no cheese (it had sauce and toppings). The crust was surprisingly good. I was somewhat expecting a cardboard like crust, but it wasn't. It was crispy like a thin crust pizza and it was flavored with Italian seasonings. The Gluten-Free pizza is $3 more than whatever "normal" pizza is on their menu, but I thought it was well worth it. I also LOVE that Garlic Jim's takes competitor coupons (example: Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Domino's, etc.) When you call your order in, just tell them what coupon you would like to use and present it to them when you pick up your pizza. Even though my Gluten-Free pizza was $3 more, I saved that and more by using my coupons (Did I mention that I LOVE coupons?)

I realized that I didn't really miss the cheese on the pizza, it was being able to bit into crust that made me really happy. Everyone else had normal pizza and I had a large all to myself. I thought I was going to freeze the leftovers, but there is not much left. I got a little carried away. Guess I was making up for lost time.

Because Garlic Jim's is take out or delivery only, we found a picnic table close by since we were starving and it was all I could do from ripping the pizza out of the box and eating it in the car. We brought our own plates, napkins and drinks to make our night out even more affordable. It was a fun evening and I just thinking about Brody being able to eat pizza that is safe for him (one day soon) brought a smile to my face :) Thank you Garlic Jim's!
P.S.-When I picked up the pizza, I told the guy who rang me up, "thank you so much" and he laughed when he presented me my gluten-free, no cheese pizza. He told me he had a lady literally cry today when she picked her GF pizza up. I didn't cry, but my heart was happy! It's funny the simple things you miss when you can't have them.
Thank you Garlic Jim's!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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